ECOSOC Concludes Second Development Cooperation Forum

30 June 2010: The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held its second high-level Development Cooperation Forum on 29-30 June 2010, in New York, US, built around multi-stakeholder dialogues covering various types of global development cooperation, aid allocation and effectiveness, and policy coherence.

Hamidon Ali ( Malaysia), President of the ECOSOC, opened the second Development Cooperation Forum by noting that it was taking place at a time when a confluence of crises still threatened to derail the development process. He called for mutually supportive national policies on trade, debt, investment, technology, climate change, food security, migration and systematic issues. Ali added that the second Forum provided an opportunity to enhance the effectiveness and coherence of development cooperation as a major signpost for those regions and groups most in need of help.

In his keynote address, the representative for China shared some observations on the country's experience in development assistance, underlining that his country was facing “serious development challenges.” He added that in the years ahead, China would need to address multiple energy, environment and climate change challenges, making further development cooperation indispensable.

During the Annual Ministerial Review, established in 2005 to assess progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), among other internationally agreed development targets, the representative of the US underscored the instrumental role of women and girls in the national response to climate change, highlighting the announcement by the US in Copenhagen to help mobilize US$100 billion annually by 2020 to address the climate needs of developing countries as long as its demands for a climate change pledge are met.

In the afternoon of 30 June, the Council held its fourth policy dialogue on the topic “Impact of multiple crises: allocating resources among competing needs,” moderated by Nitin Desai, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Internet Governance and former Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. The representative of Luxembourg described her country's ODA activities, highlighting the setting up of a special fund through which to channel initiatives addressing climate change. The representative of Bangladesh called for specific international help to cope with the effects of climate change and natural disasters. Desai wrapped up the discussion by saying he had been stuck by the near-universal failure to anticipate the crises. He expressed the hope that the recent months had taught everyone that the present volatile times “are the new normal,” warning that climate change would continue to spark devastating floods and droughts, especially now that people lived closer to the margins of environmental resources. [UN Press Release on the Opening of the Development Cooperation Forum] [UN Press Release on the Conclusion of the Development Cooperation Forum] [Climate Change Policy & Practice Story on the High-level Segment of the ECOSOC]